What is a Slot?


A narrow notch, groove or opening, as a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also, the position or time at which a meeting or other deadline occurs. “I scheduled a meeting at 3:00 this afternoon, but I got a call from my boss to cancel at 3:15, so I had to slot the new meeting into another slot.”

A computerized system that controls a casino game. Modern slot machines use random number generators (RNGs) to generate a series of numbers for each reel, which correspond to the stops on the physical reel. The software then determines which symbol will land on the payline and how much it will pay. The RNG can even weight symbols, making them appear more or less frequently than others on the payline, so that a winning combination is more likely to occur.

In aviation, a window of opportunity in which a plane can take off. If a plane has not been assigned a slot, it must wait in line to be cleared through security and to queue up at the gate before being permitted to proceed to the runway and then into the air. This can lead to lengthy delays, a waste of fuel and a negative impact on the environment. Central flow management has reduced the need for slots by keeping planes on the ground, which has led to huge savings in terms of both time and fuel.